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John Ward in Belfast
August 5, 2008
Canada 71 for 2 beat Bermuda 70 by 8 wickets
The play-off for fifth and sixth places in the tournament evoked little interest, even before the start of another poor match, where Bermuda's dismal batting display handed Canada the easiest of victories, by eight wickets and with almost half the possible 20 overs in hand. Bermuda decided to omit their most famous player, Dwayne Leverock, from this match to give their reserves an outing.
Canada put Bermuda in to bat and the men in blue soon lost their opener Chris Foggo, caught off a skier to long leg for 7, followed by Orande Bascombe (2) to a lesser skyer in the covers. Inexperienced as they are in this form of the game, the Associate players depart to skied catches much more regularly than do the professionals.
Wickets contined to fall, including that of Bermuda's most successful batsman of the tournament, Stephen Outerbridge, lbw to Henry Osinde for 4. After ten overs, the score was an apparently hopeless 34 for 5, and once again incompetent batting by the top order had condemned a team to humilation and probable defeat. At 45 the remaining opener, Oliver Pitcher, sliced an easy catch to backward point after holding out for a dogged 15, and the sorry procession continued.
The innings slid to a sorry conclusion for 70 all out in the final over, and the Bermudan players must have felt deeply demoralised. They never at any point looked like giving a good account of themselves with the bat and Pitcher alone reached double figures. Remarkably, there was only one boundary shot in the entire innings, hit by Foggo in the opening over. Four bowlers took two cheap wickets each; Osinde, with 2 for 12, had the poorest figures of them, but arguably did the most valuable job in shattering the very shatterable top order. Steve Welsh took two middle-order wickets for just six runs in three overs, and two good catches in addition tipped the scales his way for the Man of the Match award.
The question was, could Canada do any better? There was no evidence of it from the first ball of the innings, which Mohammad Qazi popped up tamely to midwicket. Canada did not need to hurry, though, and the score proceeded to 32, at which point John Davison, some would say unusually restrained in his batting for a brisk 19 off 13 balls, skied a catch to mid-on after four overs.
Geoffrey Barnett took over the post of responsibility and saw his team through to an overwhelming victory by eight wickets, scoring 33 comfortably off 34 balls, while Ashish Bagai backed him up with 15 off 16 balls. Canada, at least, can go home with a convincing win under their belts, but tinged with the knowledge that they peaked a little too late.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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